Visceral pain: the ins and outs, the ups and downs

Curr Opin Support Palliat Care. 2012 Mar;6(1):17-26. doi: 10.1097/SPC.0b013e32834f6ec9.


Purpose of review: Visceral pain represents a major clinical problem, yet far less is known about its mechanisms compared with somatic pains, for example, from cutaneous and muscular structures.

Recent findings: In this review, we describe the neuroanatomical bases of visceral pain signalling in the peripheral and central nervous system, comparing to somatic pains and also the channels and receptors involved in these events. We include an overview of potential new targets in the context of mechanisms of visceral pain and hypersensitivity.

Summary: This review should inform on the recognition of what occurs in patients with visceral pain, why comorbidities are common and how analgesic treatments work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperalgesia / drug therapy*
  • Hyperalgesia / pathology
  • Nociception
  • Nociceptive Pain / drug therapy
  • Nociceptive Pain / pathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Peripheral Nervous System Diseases / pathology*
  • Visceral Afferents
  • Visceral Pain / drug therapy*
  • Visceral Pain / pathology